We are face many moments with our children these days. You might notice that all those observations your child’s teacher was sharing with you are now making a lot more sense! You can see your child’s ups and downs in a whole new way. It is a challenging time to be a parent, but also VERY EXCITING! Every moment is an opportunity to connect, bond, notice, and see your children for their unique little selves!
There is a concept called The Emotional Cup to help understand your child’s needs. Each child has an emotional cup that has 4 basic needs: affection, love, security, and attention. Most of the time, a child is full and these needs are satisfied. However, sometimes, the cup gets empty. A child can feel a lack of affection, love, security, and attention when adults are stressed, busy, dealing with their own feelings, or miseducated about child development.
Children express their “empty cups” by misbehaving to get attention, becoming super energetic and dysregulated, having a hard time listening, and throwing temper tantrums. Children’s cups get emptied from stress, peer rejections, loneliness, isolation, yelling and punishment, fatigue, and not feeling listened by caring adults. Children’s cups get filled when they have playful one-on-one time, loving connection with caring adults, feeling successful, being the leader in play, and doing something they love.
This is a PERFECT time to practice playful parenting! Between “work from home” meetings, partner interactions, meal prep, cleaning, obsessively watching news coverage, and scrolling on your phone; get on the ground and play with legos, hide-and-go-seek, color, read, and follow the giggles! Let yourself get into your child’s brain and see the world from their view. Just three 15 minute sessions a day of totally focused and uninterrupted play can fill your child’s cup and make them feel heard and seen!